911 dispatchers to be recognized this week

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The efforts of those who take the calls at Chatham-Kent’s 911 communication centre will be recognized this coming week.

During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the Chatham-Kent Police Service stated in a release it will honour dispatchers and other staff, calling them the “unseen heroes heard only through phone or radio transmissions.”

The communications centre also dispatches for Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.

Given the ongoing pandemic, Chatham-Kent police stated that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, especially those who are working in emergency services.

“They are the public’s first point of contact during an emergency, where they are tasked with obtaining information in a timely and relevant manner,” police said. “In turn, they relay this information to our officers to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Sheri Somerville, manager of the centre, said that staff deserve to be commended for their dedication, as well as their ability to multitask under pressure.

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“Our communications staff are a talented group of professionals who deal with a wide range of situations, oftentimes simultaneously,” she said. “They are experts in their field and the best example of what it means to be a telecommunicator and essential workers through trying times.

“They serve our community well. Congratulations to them. This has been a challenging year; they deserve it.”

On its website, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Canada thanked personnel across the country for the sacrifices the make to “create a better and safer community, province, and country for the public.”

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